Thank you for Eric Garcia’s cartoon describing the cancellation of an exhibit of artwork by Palestinian children [“El Machete,” Sept. 22-28]. It seems that anything critical of Israel’s reprehensible treatment of Palestinians is too “provocative” and too “controversial” for Americans to be allowed to see. The rest of our local media not only slant news and editorials against Palestinians, but actively censor anything that finds fault with Israel. Supporters of Israel and pro-Israeli lobbying groups such as AIPAC have a stranglehold not only over our foreign policy, but over our voices as well. Censoring children’s artwork is truly pathetic, and is a new low in U.S. groveling to the pro-Israel lobby. Thanks for supporting actual free speech in this country.
The Right Has It Wrong
The right wing claims the rich already pay most of the taxes in this country, therefore should not be expected to pay more. However, they always lie by omission: The tax rates are progressive, and because such a small sliver of Americans have most of the income, they will pay more. They also sounded their favorite mantra that nearly half of Americans pay no taxes, yet get benefits of one sort or other. They never argue or acknowledge that income from dividends or capital gains is taxed lower than earned income, nor do they acknowledge that such income, as well as rents and royalties, are NOT subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. Yet, they are Chicken Little about the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, but refuse to tack on payroll taxes to investment income.
The right and their media allies are very adept at getting low information voters to blame their woes on others: poor people, minorities, gays, illegal immigrants. Why? Easy targets, plus everyone has seen or heard of one person gaming the system. This also distracts from fact that Republican policies beginning in the ’80s, along with Clinton and some Democrats in ’90s, supported policies that allowed offshore manufacturing jobs, yet allowed companies tax breaks.
The right howls about illegal immigration but never admits that a great part of the equation is employers’ desire of to not pay a fair wage—import workers who will flood the market and break the back of American labor. Hence, none of their goofy proposals such as the Arizona law have any penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants. They all cry unions killed our industrial base, even though costs to the customer never went down while labor costs did. A car made overseas for sweatshop wages costs as much as one made with union labor. Nike shoes made in Indonesia for pennies per hour cost over $150 retail. So, how did unions kill jobs? The cost remains the same ... to the customer. They also claim working Americans pay no taxes yet never admit corporations, given personhood by the Supreme Court, pay little or no taxes either while receiving their share of benefits and services. The American right. Getting it wrong since the ’80s.
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